Airbus vs. Boeing: Who Came Out on Top in 2018?

Photo: A Lufthansa Airbus A380-800 and Boeing 747-8 . (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Kiefer)


The two biggest names in commercial aircraft manufacturing both broke delivery records last year. Boeing edged ahead of its European rival Airbus with 806 deliveries to 800, retaining the coveted title as the world’s biggest aeroplane producer.

The latest figures released by the two firms reveal not only the number of examples handed over to the customer, but also offer an insight into the all-important orderbook. Airbus pointed towards its backlog, which currently sits at 7,577 – however it should be noted that this includes 480 A220s absorbed from Bombardier’s CSeries project. Across the pond, the Chicago-based company’s backlog grew to 5,873 aircraft.

The Boeing 737 MAX, 787 and 777. (Photo: Boeing)

On the net orders front, Boeing achieved 893 valued at US$143.7bn at list prices, representing a 2% decrease on the previous year, however this was ahead of Airbus who ended the year with 747 net orders amounting to a 30% decrease compared to 2017. Boeing continued to do well in the wide-body sector with 218 orders last year including 109 orders for its popular 787 Dreamliner, and 51 orders for its 777 family of aircraft. Airbus remained dominant in the narrowbody market, with the A320 family continuing to be the world’s most popular passenger airliner.

An Airbus infographic detailing the headline results. (Airbus)

Speaking on publication of the results, Kevin McAllister, Boeing commercial airplanes president and CEO said: “Boeing raised the bar again in 2018 thanks to our teammates’ incredible focus on meeting customer commitments, and continuously improving quality and productivity. In a dynamic year, our production discipline and our supplier partners helped us build and deliver more airplanes than ever before to satisfy the strong demand for air travel across the globe.”

Meanwhile, Guillaume Faury, president of Airbus Commercial Aircraft remarked: “Despite significant operational challenges, Airbus continued its production ramp-up and delivered a record number of aircraft in 2018. I salute our teams around the globe who worked until the end of the year to meet our commitments. I am equally pleased about the healthy order intake as it shows the underlying strength of the commercial aircraft market and the trust our customers are placing in us.”

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